Two typewriters, two writers and one winner. Keep St.Pete Lit hosted a writing competition called the Lucha Libro Literary Death Match. The premise was simple. You take two talented writers, give them a topic and 10 minutes to write a short story. The audience then judged their success in crafting something unique and beautiful.
The competitions are set to happen monthly, so in hopes of participating next month, I did a practice round. I Googled “random word” and was met with the haunting word “inevitable”. I started the timer and wrote. Here is the product of ten minutes, coffee, and angst.
She knew it would happen eventually. That the people she loved would die. That the buildings she lived in would crumble. That she herself would become a faded photograph in someone’s bedroom dresser. Her weakness was that she saw both the beginning and end of all things. It consumed her in a way that nothing else could. She had visions of grandeur, followed by visions of destitution. On this particular evening, the wind was playing with her long red hair and across the bar a man kept shooting her looks. She glanced uncertainly at her drink. “This, again?”, she thought to herself. It wasn’t as if she didn’t want a good man in her life, the chase had just become a game to her. Every man was the same and she accurately predicted the beginning and end of all relationships. The fizzle, the spark, the romance, the inseparability. It gave her butterflies. And before she could feel them fill up her stomach and consume her there was the fight, the disappointment, the anger, the resentment, and the end. Beneath her greatest joys was the ultimate fear that every good thing must end, so she did nothing. She watched the world with hopeful eyes and a fearful disposition. She was was suspended in a cocoon of her own making and nothing could satisfy her. The man set down his drink at her table, pulling her out of darkness. “Can I get you a drink?”, he asked. She nodded, fighting against herself at every turn. The butterflies started again. Fluttering up and tickling the top of her stomach, causing her lunch to shift in an wholly unsettling manner. His eyes met her and she was consumed. Her fears, her worries, her troubles melted into his ambiance. The night slipped away. The future was before them. From her cocoon she emerged a beautiful butterfly, if only for a night. The rest was inevitable.